Catch the New Comet Iwamoto

If you haven’t heard about recently discovered fast-moving Comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto), you still have a chance to see its brightest. Latest reports indicate that the next “star date” will be only in the year 3390, so it is your last opportunity to see this celestial visitor with your own eyes.

Dashing through space at the speed of 41 miles per second, in relation to Earth, this astronomical object was picked up just a couple of months ago by the Japanese amateur Masayuki Iwamoto. At the moment of discovery its brightness was only around 13th magnitude.

On 12 February this green patch of light will make its closest approach to Earth approximately at 20:10 UTC (according to the local time zone) and might reach an integrated magnitude between 6.5 and 7.5, so it should be easily found in the dark sky.

Although in the coming nights the Moon will reach the first-quarter phase, it won't be a bother. Comet C/2018 Y1 will traverse through the stars of Leo and this night you need to use binoculars or small telescopes to capture it. Happy sky gazing!

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